If you’re a local, here are some of the places we feel visitors must see in Brisbane to gain an insight into Brisbane and its people, whether this is your first time in Brisbane, you’ve been here before or even. Please note that these particular have been in no particular order:
Mt Cooth-tha Summit
Have a drive to the top of Mt Coot-tha (7km west of the CBD) where you’ll obtain a spectacular panoramic view of the entire of Brisbane city and surrounds. Over a clear day you can see all the way to the distant ranges inside the south-west and Moreton Bay towards the east. Here it is possible to spend time at the cafe sipping a latte, cool down with a gelato ice-cream or enjoy the famous Summit restaurant in the mountaintop. To get a real buzz come right here at night and you’ll view the city ablaze with lights (very romantic indeed! )
Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
While you’re at Mt Coot-tha Lookout, go to the Botanic Gardens. These 52 hectare gardens contain subtropical and Australian flora inside a setting of streams, ponds and lakes. Mt Coot-tha also hosts a planetarium, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, a certain favourite of youngsters.
For that more adventurous, require a two and a half hour climb to the top of Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. Here you’ll experience uninterrupted 360 degree views of Brisbane, its river and surrounding mountains. Dawn climbers will capture the beauty of sunrise on the bay, while dusk climbers will spot the setting sun reflected inside the glass and steel in the city’s high-rise office and apartment buildings. One of the things to do on New Years Eve in Brisbane is to head down to Southbank and watch the fireworks explode around the Story Bridge if you happen to be visiting Brisbane on New Year’s Eve.
Consider the one hour brewery tour in the Ale House at Milton where you’ll obtain a glimpse to the past of the Castlemaine Perkins brewery and its world-famous beers. Only minutes from Brisbane’s CBD, you can experience an entertaining and interactive brewery tour, pick-up some souvenirs and sample some ales at the Ale House bar – a real experience. And what could be more Australian than beer!
It’s difficult to imagine Brisbane without South Bank. Just across the river from your CBD, you will enjoy South Bank’s sandy beach (Streets Beach), open grassy picnic areas, a and shops plethora of eating spots. Free live fireworks, festivals and entertainment all through the year add to the vibrancy you’ll experience here. On Saturdays, Fridays and Sundays, visit South Bank Art & Craft Market where you’ll find crafts by local artisans including fashion, homewares, jewellery and tarot and even a massage. It’s at South Bank where you’ll also find Queensland’s arts and theatres. Places to see include the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. The Queensland Museum Sciencentre is popular with children.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
If you are wanting to experience Australian wildlife without leaving the city, then Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is for you! Hold a koala, feed a kangaroo, hear a speak about our reptiles. It is possible to the RiverCat from the city to Lone Pine for any truly Brisbane experience.
Many claim that Brisbane River defines Brisbane, in the end, we’re referred to as RiverCity! A great way to see Brisbane is always to require a ride in the CityCat – a easy and cheap way to get around. Take a cruise up and down the river, stopping where ever you want along the way – South Bank, University of Queensland, New Farm. Another way to view the sights of Brisbane is with an entertaining cruise along the Brisbane River on one of the Kookaburra River Queens.
Brisbane CBD Historic Walking Tour
Brisbane hasn’t had a great good reputation for preserving its heritage buildings. The drive to modernize the metropolis for economic purposes saw a huge number of historic sites torn down inside the 1980’s and 1970’s. A day or two’s walking will be enough for you to see most of the really old sites, though there are still a number of them around, particularly in the CBD districts.
Queen Street Mall
Within the heart of Brisbane’s CBD, Queen Street Mall is really a busy half kilometre pedestrian open air thoroughfare including al-fresco shopping and dining. With wide swooping sails to provide necessary shelter from your sun and rain, Queen Street mall draws over 26 million visitors annually. Queen Street Mall is recognized as the largest retail precinct between Singapore and Sydney, and houses a superb collection of designer international, national and labels retail chains, independent boutique outlets, jewelrydesigners and bookstores, shoe shops and more. If you like to people-watch, come here as the mall is a hive of activity. A purpose built performance stage features regular free live entertainment, and buskers never fail to delight passers by making use of their antics. There are several 24 / 7 eateries and bars available over the mall’s central spine for people who want to party on.
City Botanic Gardens
Brisbane’s (original) botanic gardens stretch out to the river on three sides where you could walk or cycle your path around to adopt within the exotic plants that flourish within our sub-tropical climate. An easy and relaxed walk from your CBD, a must do is to take a walk from the mangroves around the boardwalk. If you’re here on a Sunday, continue along to Eagle Street pier to browse the many stalls at the Riverside Markets, open every Sunday from 7am.
Fondly called ‘The Valley’ it provides produced a name for itself with locals and visitors alike and remains the main thing on alternative and emerging music, fashion and entertainment. Go to any main street within the Valley and you’re sure to find a selection of trendy locations for drinks, dance or food. Try James Street, Brunswick Street, or Ann Street. There are a large number of venues available, each with their own style and atmosphere. Some compare the Valley to Sydney’s Oxford Street for nightlife. Take your pick of designer nightclubs and make sure not to miss Family Nightclub, recently awarded Australia’s best nightclub. The Valley is additionally at Brisbane’s forefront in live music experiences. A good place to begin a visit to The Valley is definitely the Brunswick Street Mall which is lined with cafes, bars and eateries. Right next to Brunswick Street is Ann Street, with many avant garde fashion boutiques which feature cutting-edge and retro designs.